Mama And Son Photo Session At The Palais Royal II Paris Family Photographer

I'm going to be totally honest here: sometimes, I create blog posts and don't post them until AGES after. I do it either because I'm swamped and forget to post them, or because it's no longer the right season and I really want to give good inspiration that's for each season!

THIS post is one that I put together last June. So little A, is now MUCH bigger (and we've had another gorgeous session since then) but the memories and cuteness are just TOO cute to not share. So here goes!

mother son family portraits Paris palais Royal_022.jpg

If you've been following KDP for a while you've seen these sweeties on the blog before. When little A was in P's belly, AND when he was first starting to walk in the Jardin du Luxembourg. What makes this session especially special is that it's just a mommy and me session. (I LOVE how P coordinated their outfits so he's like a mini-me.)

Little A was exactly how you'd expect any 1.5 year old to be.. running around, hyper, and TOTALLY on his own plan. When you're working with little kids like him, you need to figure out what HE wants to do and then have fun around that. He wanted to run, to see the ducks, to smell flowers.. so we did all that and made some beautiful portraits in the process! 

Afterwards, we made a little album, just for them documenting this special time. I know how special alone time is with your parents and this was especially fun to create something SO meaningful for now, and for many many years down the road. 

The 3 BEST Cafés Around the Eiffel Tower in Paris II In Collaboration with Wafa, from the Cups And Dishes Blog


Written in collaboration with Wafa from the Cups and Dishes Blog, all photos by KDP.

So you just saw the spectacular view from top of the Eiffel Tower after queuing for 35 minutes.  You braved the journey to Champs de Mars and battled you way through souvenir sellers and a large group of tourist.  You got all your selfies done and ticked your bucket list.  You now deserve a hot beverage or even a snack. But you don’t want to go to your touristy, over priced, under flavoured café. You don’t want to go to Starbucks and MacDonald’s. Where you need to go is to an authentic, local and delicious café. A place that is not your typical French bistro with Edith Piaf music. There is nothing wrong with a bit of cliché but honestly why go when we have THREE great places that we totally recommend.


1. O Coffeeshop

23 Rue de Lourmel, 75015 Paris  Facebook & Instagram

15 minute walk (1 km away from Eiffel Tower)

KATIE: What I love about O coffeeshop is that it’s in a super calm area, but even so, you go in and it’s bustling. It’s the mark of how you know somewhere is good.. if it’s busy. I’ve had their banana bread too and it’s incredible, along with their avocado toast! I love that you can just sit at the counter and the guys are open to chat. Wafa’s DEFINITELY been there more, but even in my few times of going, it’s left a great impression. 


WAFA: This is my local and regular café. I love it due to it’s amazing breakfast and coffee. World renowned banana bread is toasted for you with a nob of butter! Delicious organic eggs over avocado on toast with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and paprika really set you up for the day. You will not find croissants here but delicious baked tarts, cinnamon rolls and cakes by Chef Hélène Touin . They have a rotating lunch menu that is simple yet full of flavour. Owned and run by two coffee surfer dudes  Timothee Teyssier  and Matthew Sloane, they will welcome you with their warm Australian French smiles and charm along with a creamy cappuccino. So go in order your coffee and enjoy this modern cafe and it's cool vibe. 

See Wafa’s full review on her blog HERE.


2. Terres de Café

67 Avenue de la Bourdonnais, 75007 Paris  Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

5 minute walk ( 350 meter from Eiffel Tower)



KATIE: The first time I walked into a Terres de Café was at their Marais location with my mother in law. What drew us in was the incredible smell of the coffee beans. This location has that same charm and incredible coffee. If you’re a local and are looking for fresh coffee pods for your nespresso machines, they sell them, or if you want a great coffee to take back as a souvenir from Paris, they sell bags of beans too. I love that they are coffee specialists and their excitement and passion rubs off on you. Also, their gluten free brownies are to die for!! 
Fun fact, if you come into the KDP office and have coffee, they’re fresh beans from Terres de Cafe.


WAFA: Don’t let this tiny café fool you. Go in and discover one of Paris’s top coffee specialists. A prizewinner for best retailor in Paris 2015. It serves fair-trade organic coffee from their own sustainable coffee farms in Africa and Latin America. They serve snacks and set lunch menus that include sandwiches and quiches that are all hand made on site. You will discovered gluten free brownies and varied milk options. Long tables and benches inside makes it a great communal space, or you can people watch from their bright outdoor seats. I love their ethos and outlook on coffee, just look at their logo! No one knows what you are sharing over a cup of coffee with friends, Terres de Cafe gives you that personal space.  Ears will be burning!

See Wafa’s review on her blog HERE



3. ZIA

22 Avenue de Tourville, 75007 Paris  Facebook & Instagram

12 minute walk (950 m away from Eiffel Tower)



KATIE: What I love about Zia is the light that pours in from the storefront windows, the beautiful artwork on the walls, and that the coffee’s plain GOOD. You can get different kinds of milks (good for my fellow non-lactose drinkers, they actually make their own almond milk) and can even get it to TAKE AWAY which is unheard of in Paris other than a few other coffee shops! The food is good and fresh, and every time I go in all I want is their amazing banana bread, and granola. Seriously, try it! I haven’t personally tasted their iced coffee (yet) but one of my girlfriends claims “It’s the best in Paris”. Once the warm weather comes back, it’s my next stop! 

WAFA: This is a small bright café with modern art hanging that is bursting with amazing flavours from American owner and chef Justin Kent.  The coffee and tea is good along with their baked snackes. Breakfast is served till 12 and then you have the lunch menu. 
I would recommend the home made Granola for sure. Their fish dish is also great and just the right portion. Reasonably priced and varied menu is what you get at Zia, exciting flavours is where Justin really exceeds in mixing flavours and textures. Using organic local produce and leaving your belly truly satisfied. It really is a hidden gem.

I hope that the next time you’re in Paris, or you’re in the 7th or 15th arrondissements around the Eiffel Tower and looking for a good coffee or pick-me-up, you’ll head over to these three hidden gems! 

If you’d like to download the guide associated with this blog post please click below to get access to our vip space!

Get our Eiffel Tower coffee guide HERE

Located in our VIP space! 

Notes From the Bride: Was I Crazy to Cut My Hair 8 Months Before Our Wedding?

I've had long hair almost all my life other than when I was, well, a newborn, and for a few months when I was 18 and cut it short before starting photography school. I love my long hair; it's almost always super healthy, is a lovely color that lightens in the summer and darkens in the winter and it's pretty easy to style (Although, it's one defect is that it doesn't hold curls well.)

((Fav hair products for my now short hair: To hold curls, to protect from hair dryer heat, to style in a hurry, to give my new short hair more volume ))

Whatever. I'm already lucky to have easy hair! 

 My hair BEFORE the cut! So long!!

My hair BEFORE the cut! So long!!

I know that for our wedding I want long hair.. but for ages now, I've been sitting on the idea of cutting my hair short. Not a pixie cut or anything but a little shorter than shoulder length. 

I figured the person who's advice I really needed was my wedding hair stylist so I messaged her. Kendra was like, listen Katie, if you want to do it, go for it. We are going to make your hair beautiful at any length. 

Now that's a good stylist (and enabler haha).

My hair grows pretty quickly so by the time of the wedding I'm pretty sure it's going to be back to mid-length. If I reeeealy want longer hair we can always add in clip in extensions. (Even if Kendra doesn't recommend them. She can make anything look beautiful.. I don't doubt her magical stylist powers!) 

 My hair during our wedding. IT DIDN’T GROW!!! Photo by  Bubblerock     P.S. Thank you to our incredible vendors, all photos are from our actual wedding   Photographers:  Bubblerock   Hair and makeup:  Kendra Hittinger   My dress:  Rue de Seine  from  Lovely Bride   His custom suit:  Samson Bordeaux   Caterers:  Deval    Venue:  Chateau Isabeau de Naujan

My hair during our wedding. IT DIDN’T GROW!!! Photo by Bubblerock 

P.S. Thank you to our incredible vendors, all photos are from our actual wedding

Photographers: Bubblerock

Hair and makeup: Kendra Hittinger

My dress: Rue de Seine from Lovely Bride

His custom suit: Samson Bordeaux

Caterers: Deval

Venue: Chateau Isabeau de Naujan

I may be only 8 months from my wedding but I have zero regrets on my new hair. It's such a nice change and honestly is sooooo easy to style! Also, i feel like I have so much MORE hair now that the length isn't weighing it down! 

Tell me what you think! Am I crazy to change my look less than a year from my wedding? 


Funny thing about planning a wedding is that it's stressful.

Funny thing about stress? It does weird stuff to your body.

Like not let your hair grow.

I swear since our wedding I've grown a wig of hair but between that haircut 8 months before the wedding to that wedding day, maybe it grew an inch. Yah. An inch. SO, if your body reacts to stress like mine and you want long hair for your wedding. Either don't cut your hair or plan on some extensions. (I actually had some for my wedding day but didn't use them, I got them from Barefoot Blonde Hair and use them occasionally to add some oomph to my braids or length to my 'do)

Did you do any major style change in the year before your wedding? I'd love to hear your thoughts!!

Notes From the Bride: Finding Our Perfect Wedding Venue + 6 Important Questions to Ask

If you read my last post about our wedding priorities you'll remember I briefly mentioned that our wedding venue is from the 14th century (and did I mention that it's surrounded by vineyards?). Yah, it's amazing. I want to share the story of how we found it (AND some questions/pros/cons about venues that we discovered in the process.) While each country has its on way of planning weddings, the main questions and concerns are the same. 

Seeing that we aren't living in the Bordeaux region, our venue search was done mostly online through, recommendations from family friends who had gotten married around Bordeaux, and from a catalog of reception halls from a wedding fair in Bordeaux (my mother-in-law went for us!). I primarily did the first search and big list and then Pyk and I narrowed it down with different questions we had for the venues (We used an excel spread sheet for this! Super easy and kept everything very organized. Best part is that through dropbox we could both easily edit it). Our first BIG list was about 15 chateaux/domaines around the Bordeaux region; all places that looked nice, could fit 150 guests seated, and were within 50km driving of Bordeaux centre. 


How we narrowed down:

We would have been happy with any of the 15 original choices had they ticked off all our priorities. They were all stunning and everyone who I talked to at the different venues was absolutely lovely. Some questions we asked to narrow down:

Can all 150 be seated in the same area? (Some places had different rooms and we didn't want to separate anyone.)

- Does it have rooms where we and some of the guests could stay? It was important for me that we (Pyk and I, our parents, and at least some of the bridal party) would be able to sleep at the venue so we wouldn't have to worry about driving home at 6am after a night of dancing.

- How late can we have music/people? Most places in the region only allow music until 4am and Pyk really wanted this unlimited. We started by knocking out any venue that wouldn't allow music until at least 4am. Word to the wise: French people like to party, especially my fiancé who's always the last one left on the dance floor. 

- Can we rent out the space for Sunday as well? The typical American wedding where the reception lasts only a few hours and you barely get time to get up and dance was the last thing I wanted. Rather, I wanted everyone to come and enjoy a whole weekend of festivities. So many people are coming from so far away, I wanted to make it a real event for them!

- Can we have a ceremony at the venue? Most of the locations had outdoor areas where you could have a ceremony, but some were very limited in the space they had available to set up any sort of chairs and altar-esque thing. In the end, the chateau that we booked has a courtyard where we'll be having the ceremony. 

- Is there a caterer or wine that's imposed? This really wasn't a deal breaker for us but we would have to make sure to have a tasting to be sure we liked the chef and what they were proposing. Great food is a HUGE priority for us. We are inviting many people for whom this trip will be their first time in France. You better believe that I'm going to be sure they are stuffed with amazing French food! (Especially the food from the French southwest - it's so so good.) 

In the end we saw 5 venues, 4 with things we both loved and weren't so crazy about, and 1 that was absolutely PERFECT!! 

We took two days off for visiting venues and for two days it POURED… sideways. Seriously.

Complete monsoon.

Fields looked like lakes.

When we went back to our venue the other day (this time with the sun shining!) we realized that many of the lakes we saw were now vineyards. Crazy. 

Needless to say, it wasn't the most ideal way to view our venues but it didn't stop us from falling in love with the one we chose. 

The 4th venue we saw was the one. We walked in through the rain into the cobblestoned courtyard. The chateau was in front of us and both of us knew.

This is it.

This is where we're getting married.

During the tour we saw the rooms where we and some of our guests will stay, the pool and the panoramic terrace, and finally the reception room and we both felt this HUGE weight lift off our shoulders.


We still did a tour of the 5th chateau we'd scheduled with but we both knew that the other was where we were supposed to marry. 

And there it is! We got in touch with them immediately, READ and signed the contract (please read your contracts people!), put down our deposit, and may or may not have high-fived because HOLY COWABUNGA BATMAN WE HAVE OUR WEDDING VENUE!

A tip for the newly engaged:

Be precise in your venue search and be sure to talk about what you want BEFORE you start looking. Communication between the two of you is incredibly important. Once you have an idea of what you'd like in a venue, look at many different places. I looked online, on wedding websites, on my favorite French destination wedding blog, and talked to family and friends in the area. If you're considering hiring a wedding planner or a day-of-coordinator talk with them, they are sure to have real insight into venues in the area. Also, remember your budget. There was an AMAZING 5 star hotel venue just 10 minutes driving from Bordeaux that we loved… until we found out that it'd be 3 times our allotted budget for it. NOT WORTH IT.  


P.S. Thank you to our incredible vendors, all photos are from our actual wedding

Photographers: Bubblerock

Hair and makeup: Kendra Hittinger

My dress: Rue de Seine from Lovely Bride

His custom suit: Samson Bordeaux

Caterers: Deval

Venue: Chateau Isabeau de Naujan


Notes from the Bride: The First Step to Planning Your Wedding: Priorities

After the celebratory champagne was done and I'd finally gotten used to the word "fiancé", it was time to start planning our wedding. I can't tell you how anxious the prospect of wedding planning made me. One of my first worries was that my fiancé and I wouldn't be on the same page. And even worse, what if wedding planning would cause fighting? We aren't fighters - we talk things out. The second something bugs us we tell the other person and so have great communication between us. Even so, there's always that "what if?". I knew we needed to start this off on the right foot. 

To kick off our wedding planning we needed to talk about PRIORITIES. If they weren't aligned from the start, we'd have a real problem. So we sat down and figured out our top four:


- A wedding venue that some people could stay at and that we could rent for a whole weekend

- Good food and wine

- A great DJ for the reception and a great band for our ceremony and cocktail hour

As you can see there are already compromises in there. He wanted DJ and I wanted a band, so we'll have a little of both. Other things that were important to us was that it be a summer wedding as our best friends are teachers, as is my Dad, so it should be convenient enough for them all to come over to France. Also, that we have our big wedding in Bordeaux. We chose there for a few reasons:

  1. Pyk is from Bordeaux so it's a lot easier for his parents to help out with planning and logistics as they live there.
  2. $$$ - Getting married in France will cost us probably around a third of what we would pay in the US for the same style wedding. Yes, that much less. 
  3. There are chateaux and other historical places around Bordeaux that we just couldn't incorporate into a wedding in the US because the historical architecture isn't there. Our wedding venue is from the 14th century. You just can't find that in the US. 
  4. Most importantly, Bordeaux is where I fell in love with France. The first time I came to France to visit Pyk it was winter. I landed in Paris and for DAYS it was rainy and grey. A few days in, we took the train down to Bordeaux and as we were arriving into the station, the skies opened up into a gorgeous blue with puffy clouds and sun shining. We explored the city and the only word I could think of to describe it was magic. That's where I told Pyk that, "yes", I could move to France. 

After we had talked about this I felt SO much better about wedding planning. We ended up being on exactly the same page and that has made making decisions and contacting vendors so much easier because we know what's important to us. 


Tips for the newly engaged:

- First things first, I'd say that even before figuring out your budget, figure out your PRIORITIES. What do you want and what does your fiancé want? Can you meet in the middle? Once you have these in place, you have somewhere to start. The first thing we booked was our venue. Stay tuned for that story! 


P.S. Thank you to our incredible vendors, all photos are from our actual wedding

Photographers: Bubblerock

Hair and makeup: Kendra Hittinger

My dress: Rue de Seine from Lovely Bride

His custom suit: Samson Bordeaux

Caterers: Deval

Venue: Chateau Isabeau de Naujan